Sorry we're late, but hopefully you'll understand, as 2013 was very busy for the Andersons. We hope you had a pleasant Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year.

Well, it finally happened - Jerry retired at the end of July! After 29 years, he closed the doors on his consulting business and is now pursuing other interests - more about that later

In January, we sold our condominium in Menlo Park. Because of the high demand for the particular building, it sold in three days for much more than we had initially estimated. This gave us a nice nest egg to invest for retirement (and made our stock One of our considerations in retirement has been the possibility of living part or full time in another country. We had read articles about Ecuador as a top retirement destination. We also became friends with a lady who lives in the town of Eureka (where Jerry lived as a child) who owns a condo in the city of Cuenca, which is a UN Heritage Site in Ecuador. As a result, we traveled to Quito, the capital of Ecuador, in February to attend a seminar on retirement in Ecuador. While there, we took tours with real estate agents and the project managers for our friend's condo project. In the process, we confirmed the claims that you can live the same lifestyle in Ecuador for 30% to 50% of the cost in the U.S. Consequently we will be traveling to Ecuador in the Spring of 2014 to do more investigation and see if this is truly what we want to do.

Other trips during the year included the Big Island of Hawaii in May, Australia in August and Costa Rica in December. While in Hawaii, Jerry had a reunion lunch with the project manager of the hospital he helped plan. We did zip lines(!!), explored an extensive cave system and re-acquainted ourselves with places we had been during the times Jerry was working there. The month-long Australia trip was a chance to visit friends as well as explore the Barrier Reef, Cairns, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island and the Hunter Valley wine district. Costa Rica was a chance to use (instead of lose) points we own in a resort real estate trust. We saw interesting flora and fauna of the country, as well as historic buildings and museums in the city of San Jose.

Sadly, our beloved Champ reached the end of his life this year. In the spring and early summer he became blind due to cataracts, was unsteady on his legs and his health was failing rapidly. We knew (and the vet confirmed) that there was a very good chance he would not survive being boarded in a kennel during the month we would be gone in Australia. Consequently, he traveled over the "Rainbow Bridge" in mid July at the age of 15 years with the help of our very caring veterinarian in mid-July. While it made us very sad to make the decision, we were relieved that he was no longer suffering and would not have the possibility to languish and die in a kennel while we could not be there to care for him.

On a lighter note, Pepper had several positive events during the year. She has been active in the women's putting group at our country club in the desert, and was awarded a trophy for the most holes in one for the season of 2012-2013. Not bad for someone just starting out! She also had very successful cataract surgery on both eyes during the course of the year, resulting in her now having 20/20 vision. A great improvement over the problems she was having with driving and night vision.

Jerry has recently signed on as a volunteer with the Palm Springs Air Museum, which has an extensive collection of restored (and mostly airworthy) World War II and Vietnam era aircraft. A friend of ours is a former WW-II navy pilot and one of the founders of the museum, and recommended this as an activity to keep him out of the house. He will be helping their staff electrical engineer with electrical and electronic projects in both aircraft restoration and special exhibits. He is also starting to pursue serious/scenic photography as a hobby (in contrast to doing technical photography as part of his work). Since we no longer have our own dog, Jerry is also volunteering with the local humane society to work with those animals who don't have an owner to take care of them.

We wish you all the best in the New Year,

Jerry & Barbara (Pepper) Anderson